Air Conditioning Repairs
I often have customers ask my opinion about repairing their air conditioning or replacing it. There are a few different ways this can be answered based on the condition of their air conditioner. If the system is old, inefficient and needs expensive repairs I inform my customer about all the options available. I normally don’t recommend one way or the other unless the system is just in terrible condition.
I prefer to go over the exact problems the air conditioning system is having and the overall condition of the system. Then I let my customer decide; for example if the air conditioner is over 12 years old and needs a major repair, $400 to $700, I let the home owner know the average life of an air conditioner in the area we live is about 12 years. This doesn’t mean it will die at 12 years old but it does mean the breakdowns normally start around 12 years.
Now things that affect how long a system lasts are one, regular yearly maintenance. Lack of maintenance can cut years off the life of the system and increase electric bills by as much as 25% or higher. It’s like your car, don’t get it tuned up and it uses more gas. Two, how much the system is used, some people like their house in the summer time to be 80 degrees and some like it at 72 degrees. The air conditioner will run more the lower you set the thermostat. The third thing that has a big affect on how long the Air Conditioning and Heating system last is if it was properly installed. There’s a saying ‘The most important day in the life of an Air Conditioning and Heating system is the Day It Is Installed’. The lowest efficiency system can last longer and cost less to run if it is installed properly, compared to a high efficiency system installed wrong! Lack of maintenance and a poor installation are the two main problems that I find that shorten the life of an air conditioner and furnace.
When and air conditioner is older and breaks down it is just the start of the problems. All the parts in the unit are the same age and have been put through the same conditions that caused the other part to breakdown. Sometimes fixing an old worn out air conditioner is like throwing away your money, an even more expensive repair could be right around the corner.
An older air conditioning system that is worn out is just waiting to break down. The problem is that your air conditioner normally doesn’t breakdown on a nice day it breaks down on a hot day, 95+ degrees. The system is working its hardest and has the most stress put on it when it is hot out, which is normally in the middle of a heat wave when every A/C company in town is completely swamped with work. This makes it hard to get fast relief when your house is now 90+ degrees on the inside.
Another consideration is the efficiency of the old system. A new high efficiency air conditioning system can reduce electric bills by as much as 60%. If you are like most people and like your house comfortable in the summer heat then this can be a considerable savings. There’s another saying; ‘If you are already paying for a new air conditioner, with high electric bills, then why not go ahead and have it installed’. I know over paying the utility company is never a good thing.
One thing I always try to do when I’m talking to a customer about their air conditioner is to keep it simple. I explain what is going on with their broken air conditioner as if they don’t already know how an air conditioning system works. I try to educate the customer in ways that they don’t have to be a technician to understand. I have actually found that if a technician really knows their job they can easily explain to their customer, what is going on with their system, in a way they can understand. Without using technical terms that are confusing. So, if you are having a hard time understanding what a service technician is trying to tell you then there is a good chance they don’t really understand what they are trying to tell you or they are just not being honest.
Honesty in our line of work is sometimes hard to come by but is something you can always count on with MB Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing.